CHICAGO: In a distinctly American form of haute couture, a runway fashion show Friday showcased a range of accoutrements designed to carry concealed firearms -- in style.
From purses to holsters, attendees of the gun ownership and self-defense convention hosted by the National Rifle Association (NRA) will be treated to what the group says is the first-ever fashion show of its kind.
"We couldn't find an event that's been done like this before," NRA spokesman Jason Brown told AFP ahead of the show in Milwaukee, in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin.
"It's going to be really, really interesting to see all of these different products up on stage and modeled by people."
Models will display offerings from some 30 companies, including Femme Fatale, whose products include corset holsters, and Man-Pack, which makes shoulder bags designed for quick gun access.
Gun-toting attendees at the Milwaukee convention hall -- yes, guns are allowed inside -- will vote for their three favorites at the end of the show.
The NRA, the politically powerful gun rights group that regularly tussles with lawmakers over gun control, says some 16 million Americans are licensed to carry concealed firearms.
It insists that the country is safer -- not less so -- when more people carry guns.
Unlike the organization's annual meetings, which are reserved for members, the three-day convention is described as more of an educational opportunity for the general public.
"It's kind of this full, comprehensive look of what it means to be able to defend yourself," Brown said.
In addition to the fashion show, there are plans for a concert and dozens of workshops, such as one on how to stop life-threatening bleeding.
"We're going to pull out all the stops," Brown said, to help people make informed decisions about guns and self-defense.